December 18, 2020
President Donald Trump’s supporters are staying the course on election denialism following the publication of a 36-page report Thursday, released by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Titled “The Immaculate Deception: Six Key Dimensions of Election Irregularities” and hosted on Steve Bannon’s website, Navarro’s report offers a conclusion that aligns with Trump’s familiar refrain of “a coordinated strategy” to steal the election in Joe Biden’s favor.
The controversial claims presented in the report focused on six swing states and relied on several questionable sources. Navarro’s report cited Texas’ failed Supreme Court lawsuit, as well as conservative outlets like The Michigan Star, operated by former Tea Party activist Michael Patrick Leahy, and The Epoch Times newspaper. Navarro was accused earlier this month of using his government position for campaign purposes — a violation of the Hatch Act, which restricts government employees from engaging in partisan political activities. Navarro said he released Thursday’s report in a “personal” capacity.
These concerns did not stop conservative influencers such as Dan Bongino from sharing the report with his 3 million followers across Twitter, Parler and Rumble. The largest Stop the Steal group on MeWe, which migrated from Facebook after the November 3 election and boasts nearly 17,000 members, shared the story using the tag #mediacensorship. A member of a 6,200 user-strong public Facebook Group that supports Charlie Kirk, co-founder of the right-wing group Turning Point USA, shared the report with the text, saying in part: “This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. I think we can expect […] Pres.Trump declaring martial law and the election done over under the supervision of the U.S. military.” — Diara J. Townes
This analysis is from our disinformation email briefings.
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